The following article is in today's Slashdot. Normally I'd include the cited URLs, but some are so long (especially the ones invoking Google's language translator) it's not feasible and I do NOT like TinyURL and similar due to "hiding" of the destination site as regards security.
The short Slashdot article is included below in its entirety and the article itself is at the following URL if you'd like to click on and view the article-cited URLs in Spanish or translated to English:
" Several months ago, as a way to prevent the use of cellular phones in " criminal activities, the government of Mexico started a program to " require all phone owners to register cell phones in their own " names. The registry associates each phone with the listed owner's " Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion (CURP) [CURP, in English], which " is supposed to be a unique ID for every Mexican citizen. " " Yesterday the timeline to register the cell phones expired, and there " are [approx 26] million cell phones yet unregistered (English " translation of the Spanish original). While the procedure is simple, " sending a text message with the CURP to a special number, most people " do not want to register: some are wary of the uses to which the " government will put the data; others did not understand or did not " know the procedure. So far, only 69% have registered, most of them in " the last few days, while the system to register has been " oversaturated. So in an unprecedented move for any country, the " Mexican government is announcing the shutdown of 25.9 million cell " phone lines. Meanwhile, as a measure of protest, hundreds of people " have registered their cell phones in the name of the president of " Mexico, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, to show how pointless is the " registry.***** Moderator's Note *****
I wonder if there are exceptions for "disposable" phones, such as those sold at airports, or for other reasons. While I admire the Mexican government's decisiveness in this matter (a quality sadly lacking in the U.S. government's handling of every technical challenge from uniform rules for ten-digit-dialing to the Citizens Radio Service debacle), I can't help but wonder just how effective such programs really are in reducing crime.
Bill Horne Moderator